Adventures of an ant

A broken leg, caused by a stray ball, was the least of the ant’s troubles. Not when a little boy was waiting to trap her in a bottle!

There was once a little ant who lived in a small hole in one of the steps leading up to the basketball court. It was fairly safe down there as insects or birds could not attack her. Every morning she left  home and stopped by her friend’s equally tiny home. Together, they scouted for food.

One of their favourite spots was the seating area around the basketball court. People used to sit there munching cookies, chips, sandwiches and dhoklas while watching the match. Scraps  of food would fall down and remain unnoticed. The ant and her friend would scour the place and pick up every tiny scrap. They carried the food on their backs. It was heavy, but they were used to it. Some days were good and they found pieces of delicious chocolate cookies and cream biscuits, pakodas and parathas. Some days there was no food at all.

One afternoon the ant awoke from her afternoon nap with a start. There was a loud noise. The ant peeped out of her little house, but it was too late. She saw a huge, orange basketball coming straight at her! She managed to move just in time, but her right leg took a hit. The poor little ant was in pain. She cried out for help but nobody could hear her as she was so tiny. A day went by, with no help. Her friend was not around. He had taken a vacation to his aunt’s house, which was about a kilometre from the basketball court. Walking a kilometre with a broken leg was not a sensible thing to do, unless she was lucky to get a lift from someone. But who? Days went by and her food supplies dwindled. Rain began to flood her little house. She had to get help.

She crawled out of her hole carefully and looked around. There was a beautiful yellow butterfly on a  rose bush. The ant moved slowly towards the butterfly and asked for help. The butterfly told her to climb on and took off in style. The ant held on tightly but was terrified when she saw the ground below her drop away. The wind was strong and cold. She closed her eyes and held on tight.

Suddenly, she fell on a little boy’s desk with a thud. Her leg hurt even more. The butterfly flew away. The little boy took the ant and placed her in a small bottle. She was trapped, or that’s what she thought. In a while, the boy noticed that the ant’s leg was bent. He got a small thread and tied it around the ant’s leg. Then, he made a bed to fit inside the bottle for the ant to rest!

The ant gradually got better. The boy gave her grains of rice and granules of sugar every day. She did nothing but eat and sleep all day. Life was great for a while. But the ant soon grew fat and could hardly move. She became sad and bored. She wanted to go home. She longed for her best friend.

One day, she did not move when the boy came to give her a meal. But the boy did not seem to notice any change. He came back in five minutes, put the bottle in his pocket and ran out. The ant could not see a thing but found herself  jumping around in the bottle as the boy was running hard and fast. Finally, he stopped and the ant slid to the bottom of the bottle, in utter exhaustion. Her ordeal was not over. There was a thud! The bottle fell down and broke. The boy did not notice as he was in a crowd, cheering. The ant slipped out in a daze and opened her eyes. The place looked vaguely familiar. Oh yes, it was! It was the basketball court! The ant ran as fast as she could until she reached her little hole on the step. She was home at last. Next morning she went to visit her friend. She told him about her adventure. Together, they carried a leaf to her little house and made a tiny door. The ant was safe and happy. She never got hurt again and lived happily ever after.

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